Indian Agriculture: Types of Farming and Cropping Pattern Part-II- Frontier IAS
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Indian Agriculture: Types of Farming and Cropping Pattern Part-II

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Indian Agriculture: Types of Farming and Cropping Pattern Part-II

Geography for Civil Services

A variety of food and non-food crops are grown in different parts of the country depending upon the variations in soil, climate, and cultivation practices. Major crops grown in India are tea, coffee, sugarcane, oil seeds, cotton, and jute, etc. So Let's get started topic...


Fibre Crops: 1. Cotton

  • These crops provide us fiber for preparing cloth, bags, sacks, and a number of other items.
  • Cotton and jute are two main fiber crops grown in India, others are hemp and natural silk.


  • Cotton is the most important fiber crop.
  • India grows both short-staple (Indian) cotton as well as long staple (American) cotton called ‘narma’ in north-western parts of the country. 
  • Cotton is one of the main raw materials for cotton textile industry.

  • Cotton occupies about 4.7 percent of the total cropped area in the country. 

Conditions for Growth:

  • Climate: high temperature, light rainfall or irrigation, 210 frost-free days and bright sun-shine.
  • It is a Kharif crop and requires 6 to 8 months to mature.

Major cotton-producing state:

  • Punjab, Haryana and northern Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

Fibre Crops: 2. Jute

  • It is known as the golden fiber. 
  • Used in making gunny bags, mats, ropes, yarn, carpets, and other artifacts.
  • Due to its high cost, it is losing market to synthetic fibers and packing materials, particularly nylon.
  •  It is a cash crop in West Bengal and adjoining eastern parts of the country. 

Climate condition:

  • The high temperature at the time of growth. 
  • well-drained fertile soils in the flood plains needed.

Major producers:

  • West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, and Meghalaya are the major jute producing states. 
  • West Bengal accounts for about three-fourths of the production in the country. 
  • Jute accounts for only about 0.5 percent of the total cropped area in the country because of being concentrated in few areas.

Other Crops: 1. Sugarcane

  • It has Largest value of production among all the commercial crops in India.
  • Sugarcane is indigenous to India. It belongs to bamboo family.
  • Thickened sugarcane juice is used to make sugar, gur (jaggery) and khandsari.
  • It occupies only 2.4 per cent of total cropped area in the country.

Climate conditions:

  • Crop of tropical areas.
  • Under rainfed conditions, it is cultivated in sub-humid and humid climates. 
  • Requires hot and humid climate.

  • Largest producer: Uttar Pradesh accounts for about two-fifth of the sugarcane in the country.
  • Other Leading Producers: Maharashtra and Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.

Other Crops: 2. Tea

  • Tea is a plantation crop used as a beverage.
  • Tea leaves are rich in caffeine and tannin.
  • Indigenous crop of hills in northern China.
  • India is a leading producer of tea and accounts for about 28 percent of total production in the world.
  • The first commercial tea plantations in India were set up in the Upper Assam (upper Brahmaputra valley).

Climate Conditions:

  • hot (20°-30°C) and humid climate (150-300 cm).
  • The rainfall should be well distributed throughout the year.

Major producing areas:

  • Assam accounts for about 53.2 percent of the total cropped area and contributes more than half of the total production of tea in the country. 
  • Other leading producers of tea are  West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, lower slopes of Nilgiri and Cardamom hills in the Western Ghats. 

Other Crops: 3. Coffee

  • Coffee is the next important beverage crop after tea.
  • It is indigenous to Abyssinia Plateau (Ethiopia).
  • Coffee was first raised in the Baba Budan Hills of Karnataka.
  • It is a tropical plantation crop. Its seeds are roasted, ground, and are used for preparing a beverage. 
  • India produces only about 3.2 percent of the coffee of the world.

Climate Conditions:

  • hot (15°C and 28°C) and humid climate (150 to 250 cm).
  • It does not tolerate frost, prolonged drought, and strong sun shine.
  • Stagnant water is harmful. So, this crop is grown on hill slopes at elevations from 600 to 1,600 meters above sea level.

Producing areas:

  • Karnataka alone accounts for more than two-thirds of the total production of coffee in the country.
  • Other producers are Kerala and Tamil Nadu. 

Problems of Indian agriculture:

1. Dependence on Erratic Monsoon

  • Irrigation covers only about 33 per cent of the cultivated area in India. 
  • Most of the part is rainfed.
  • Poor performance of south-west monsoon 

2. Low productivity

  • The per hectare output of most of the crops such as rice, wheat, cotton and oilseeds in India is  much lower than that of U.S.A., Russia and Japan. 
  • Very high pressure on the land resources.

3. Constraints of Financial Resources and Indebtedness:

  • Expensive agriculture inputs
  • Crop failures and low returns from agriculture have forced farmers to fall in the trap of indebtedness.

4. Lack of Land Reforms

  • unequal distribution of land.
  • Lack of implementation of land reforms

5. Small Farm Size and Fragmentation of Landholdings

6. Vast Under-employment

  • particularly in the un-irrigated tracts(seasonal unemployment ranging from 4 to 8 months).

7. Degradation of Cultivable Land

  • Depletion of soil fertility, particularly in irrigated areas.
  • High alkalinity and salinity 
  • Excessive use of chemicals such as insecticides and pesticides 

Agriculture development in India

  • Agricultural Development refers to efforts made to increase farm production in order to meet the growing demand of the increasing population. 
  • The ultimate aim of agricultural development is to increase food security.

Few steps taken by Indian government are:

  • Increasing the cropped area
  • Improving irrigation facilities,
  • Use of fertilizers and high yielding variety of seeds.
  • Mechanisation of agriculture
  • Green revolution, yellow revolution etc.
  • There has been a significant increase in agricultural output and improvement in technology during the last fifty years.
  • Production and yield of many crops such as rice and wheat has increased
  • Now, India is the second largest producer of rice, wheat, groundnut, sugarcane and vegetables.
  • Expansion of irrigation has played a very crucial role in enhancing agricultural output in the country. 

You may find the below articles useful 

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  3. HCS Mains and Optional Subjects details
  4. HCS Notification update
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